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THE IGA6 WINNERS & ALL THE PHOTOS

LAS VEGAS SANDS ANNOUNCE LOCATION IN MADRID

POKERSTARS HAPPY WITH GOVERNOR CHRISTIE

Infinity Gaming www.gaming-awards.com | ISSUE FEBRUARY 2013

Social Gaming to Gambling

Converting Social Gamers into paying customers

ALAN GREENSPAN OFFERS

Valuable lessons for casino training

TWITER TIPS TO GO VIRAL

Make sure your tweets get read

SUCCESSFUL CONFERENCING

Get the most out of connecting with others at conference

Who’s the Man? Gov. Christie FOCUS

A look at the man who would be king


contents Infinity GamiingMAG EDITOR’S LETTER

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EDITOR LETTER

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What a week that was

Who’s The Man?

A closer look at Governor Christie

IGA6 Winners

All the winners announced and all the fun on the evening in photos

Latest Gaming News Find out the latest news from the gaming sector

FEATURES

22 James Packer on his 24 father & Tom Cruise

Alan Greenspan offers By Martin R. Baird

Rare interview with the billionaire

27 The 6th IGA Photos 29 Bally deal 31 Social Gaming to 32 Gambling Twitter Tips

Getting your tweets read

Check out who was at the awards

Infinity Gaming • ISSUE Feb 2013

Bally technologies do deal with Amaya Gaming

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Social Gaming to Gambling

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Converting social players into paying customers.

34 Caesars Entertainment A hard look at the finances of the gaming giant

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37 Casino 38 Cashless closed afer two days AcePlayPoker

New online poker site launched with Calire Sinclair

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Chinese island casino closed down

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Top tips to successful conference networking

Next Month OF

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ADVERTISE

Superb deals available

Contact the team for details

Infinity Gaming Magazine interviews one of the smartest, successful and great looking people within the online gaming industry. Check out the March edition for this exclusive.


EDITOR’S LETTER Lana Thompson - Chief Editor

by

Infinity Gaming MAG

New Look, New Year Welcome to our new look magazine, we hope you like it. We thought as we enter a new year we needed to refresh the style to reflect the latest trends in publishing. Readership The stats guys told me recently that we had nearly 300,000 readers to our publications last year, we must be doing something right then. A big thank you whether you are in Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe or the Americas where our magazine reaches.

Infinity Gaming • ISSUE Feb 2013

IGA EVENING

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Just over two weeks ago we celebrated the 6th annual International Gaming Awards (IGA) and what a great evening we had. New winners of awards this year, great entertainment and most important to myself and the team we managed to raise thousands of pounds for Care In-

ternational our chosen charity. So much is covered about winners on the evening and rightly so, all fought hard for their awards with great new innovations, products and services, but our focus is to raise the awareness of deserving charities each year and throughout the year. I wanted to say a special Thank You to Mr Green, whom offered to sponsor the charity item of a Chopard Necklace, to which we raised so much for Care International.

Closing Thought I want to say enjoy the magazine and please do let us know what you think of the new style. In closing and to those people, to whom you know who you are, I want to offer a quote from one great person: “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.” - Mahatma Gandhi

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Martin R. Baird Rohin Malhotra CONTACT US Clever Duck Media Suite 105 Park Plaza Point South Hayes Way Cannock WS12 2DB UK Tel: +44(0)1543 578 689 claire@cleverduckmedia.com PRODUCTION Clever Duck Media Suite 105 Park Plaza Point South Hayes Way Cannock WS12 2DB UK PUBLISHING Infinity Gaming Magazine is operated by © Clever Duck Media Ltd ® Company Reg. No. 687 1018 (Registered in England) ADVERTISING: Sponsorship Opportunities Colin@gaming-awards.com Business Partnerships Svetlana@gaming-awards.com JOIN US


Editorial on New Jersey

“Governor Chris Christie” The man who would be King

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he 7th February 2013 was a huge day for those politicians pushing to make Atlantic City (New Jersey) the next state to offer legal online gambling. With state Governor Chris Christie making a conditional veto on the bill with what is seen by observers as only small amendments needed to have the bill signed into law and for the state to offer online gambling to its residents. Infinity Gaming Magazine wanted to take a closer look at the Governor of New Jersey and see if he could be a future President of the US. However before we look at the man himself, here’s how the news was broken last week:

Infinity Gaming • ISSUE Feb 2013

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overnor Christie’s conditional veto of the online gaming bill – one which has online poker supporters celebrating and bill sponsor state Sen. Ray Lesniak predicting approval in “a matter of weeks.” The tax goes from 10% to 15% in Christie’s version, almost double the 8% of land based casinos, and there is a 10-year exit clause to allow the legislature to revisit the bill “Pursuant to Article V, Section I, Paragraph 14 of the New Jersey Constitution, I am returning Assembly Bill No. 2577 (First Reprint) with

my recommendations for reconsideration For generations, Atlantic City was a prolific engine that drove economic growth in our State and generated significant revenues to support critical programs throughout New Jersey.While Atlantic City’s reputation and stature as one of the premier resort destinations on the East Coast are well chronicled, it is no secret that revenue from the region’s most important industries, gaming and tourism, has been in decline. Since the beginning of my Administration, I have stressed the importance of reversing the trend of economic contraction in Atlantic City and have made the revitalization of the region’s gaming and

tourism industries a key priority. In furtherance of my commitment to these critically important industries, I signed landmark legislation in February of 2011 establishing the Atlantic City Tourism District.This law, the product of a joint effort between my Administration and the Legislature, sought to enhance tourism in Atlantic City by empowering the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (“CRDA”) to coordinate the marketing efforts of the casino industry, implement public safety initiatives in Atlantic City, and make critical investments in both gaming and non-gaming amenities in the region. The law also reorganized


several State entities and authorities with tourism related duties and responsibilities in order to promote efficiency and achieve greater synergies between such entities. While some of the provisions set forth in this legislation would serve to advance the important goals of the 2011 Tourism District law, others are at cross-purposes with the law’s underlying objectives. Without question, one of the keys to success in Atlantic City lies with giving the CRDA the tools it needs to effectively implement the State’s reform agenda. Toward that end, and consistent with the provisions of the Tourism District law, I firmly believe that the CRDA needs significant flexibility and freedom from burdensome, bureaucratic, and overly restrictive State mandates.

New Jersey, serving since 2009. A member of the Republican Party, Christie became the first Republican to win a statewide election in New Jersey in 12 years. Born in Newark, New Jersey, Christie is the graduate of the University

ney for the District of New Jersey in 2002, serving in that position until his resignation 2008. In January 2009, Christie filed as a candidate for Governor of New Jersey. He won the Republican Primary with 55% of the vote, and defeated incumbent Governor John Corzine, with 48% of the vote in the general election. Christie, who was seen as possible candidate in the 2012 Presidential Election but declined to run, delivered the keynote address at the 2012 Republican National Convention. Some view Christie as a leading contender for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2016. However in November 2012, Christie filed papers to run for a second term in office, which would begin in January 2014, which would mean should he be confirmed as Governor again, he would have to resign before running as a Presidential candidate. Only recently some political commentators have questioned whether Christie would be a viable presidential candidate, both for medical and social reasons concerning his size.

The Governor Facts Christopher James “Chris” Christie was born September 6, 1962, he is the 55th and current Governor of

of Delaware and Seton Hall University School of Law. In 1987 Christie worked as a lawyer in private practice before he was elected as a Freeholder of Morris County, New Jersey, where he served from 1995 to 1998. In 1998 Christie registered as a lobbyist, working for the legal representation firm Dughi, Hewit & Palatucci. President George W. Bush appointed Christie as the United States Attor-

Infinity Gaming • ISSUE Feb 2013

Some view Christie as a leading contender for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2016. However in November 2012, Christie filed papers to run for a second term

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Infinity Gaming • ISSUE Feb 2013


IGA6 Winners

Winners and memorable moments

All the

from the 6th International Gaming Awards

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busy week for the gambling industry got under way in style in London as the igaming and offline gaming community rubbed shoulders, clinked glasses and celebrated their efforts at the 6th International Gaming Awards. Through thick times and thin, the great and the good of the gaming world turn out to celebrate excellence in our wonderful industry, network with their peers and aspire to one day join the winners on stage. The glittering Gala Awards dinner held at the Brewery venue on 4 February 2013 in support of Care International charity and Responsible Gambling Trust. Was

attended by most influential executives of the Gaming industry from Landbased and iGaming companies and supported by generous sponsors. Among the many highlights was, Jez San OBE receiving the award for Outstanding Contribution to the Gaming Industry. The International Gaming Awards highest honour, the Outstanding Contribution Award, is given to an individual for their truly outstanding achievements. Previous recipients of the Outstanding Contribution Award Mr Andrew Love Chairman of Ritz Club London, Dr Stanley Ho and Bertill Knutsson founder of TCSJohnHuxley

Infinity Gaming • ISSUE Feb 2013

The sixth International Gaming held on the 4th February in London at the Brewery was again attended by the leaders of the global gambling industry. Such figures came from Macau, Australia, Africa, Canada, Europe & the US, to celebrate, recognise and support this charity focussed event.

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Infinity Gaming • ISSUE Feb 2013

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Winner Casino/Integrated Resort of the Year

Winner Casino Operator Of The Year Europe

Winner Casino Operator Of The Year Americas

City of Dreams, Melco Crown Entertainment

Rank Group (Grosvenor Casinos)

Las Vegas Sands

Winner Casino Operator Of The Year Asia/Australia

Winner Casino VIP Room of the Year

Winner Corporate Services Supplier of the Year

Galaxy Entertainment Group

Galaxy Macau Sky 32 VIP Casino

Optimal Payments

Winner iGaming Software Supplier

Winner Industry Publication/Portal of the Year

Winner Mobile Operator of the Year

Playtech

iGaming Business Magazine

William Hill


Winner Online Bingo Operator of the Year

Winner Online Casino Operator of the Year

Winner Online Poker Operator of the Year

Bwin.party (Foxy Bingo)

Mr Green

PokerStars

Winner Online Sportsbook Operator of the Year

Winner Payment Solutions Provider Company of the Year

Winner Socially Responsible Operator Land Based

Paddy Power

Skrill

Aspers

Winner Socially Responsible Operator Online

Winner Slot Manufacturer/Provider Online or Land Based

Winner Slots Operator of the Year (Online)

Sky Betting & Gaming

Williams Interactive

Redcorp (7Red) Infinity Gaming • ISSUE Feb 2013

IGA6 Winners

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www.gambleaware.co.uk

we are poker


IGA6 Winners

Winner Technology Provider/ Supplier

Winner Traditional Casino Equipment Supplier

Winner Gaming Industry Fair Play

Bally Technologies

TCSJohnHuxley

Betsson

Winner Outstanding Contribution to Gaming Recipient 2013

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ez San, the founder of 3D online poker website PKR & Crunchy Frog received the Outstanding Contribution to Gaming Award for 2013. Jez had previously been honoured for his contrubtion to gaming with an OBE. Jez started being involved in computers at the tender age of 13 and began in business when

only 16 years old. Designed his first computer game back in 1986, which was voted Best Game of the Year. His previous companies designed games for the Harry Potter franchise among many others. He is also a lifetime member of the prestigous BAFTA. For Jez’s full bio visit the Gaming Awards website.

Infinity Gaming • ISSUE Feb 2013

Jez San OBE

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Infinity Gaming • ISSUE Feb 2013


IGA6 Highlights

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01 02 CalvinAyre Team Always expect glamorous ladies with CalvinAyre team.

03 Andrew Love Our Chairman of the IGA6 Judges

04 Optimal Payments Neil Erlick of Optimal Payments, one of our great sponsors for IGA6

Infinity Gaming • ISSUE Feb 2013

01 All important Awards This is what the hundreds of attendees where all here to win.

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NEWS

Pokerstrategy wins court case against Pocket Kings Pokerstrategy has won their court case against Pocket Kings, the parent company & former owner of Full Tilt Poker worth $1.2 million, even thou the company is now being liquidated.

Ice Totally Gaming WiFi HACKED!

New Jersey first to offer television gambling

Kim Dotcom launches new site The internet entrepeneur Kim Dotcom boasted on Sunday that his new file-sharing service, Mega, was the fastest-growing startup in internet history.

New Head of Poker Comms at PokerStars PokerStars have appointed Lee Jones as Head of Poker Communications for PokerStars. In this newlycreated role, Jones will serve as a key PokerStars spokesperson on poker issues for internal and external audiences.

Our sister publication, The iGaming Post received reports from visitors at the recent Ice Totally Gaming Exhibition and Conferences that they have had their laptops and mobile phones hacked while attending the Clarion hosted event. Both complaints said that they had their bank details taken and used to purchase online items, including a £2,500 watch. Becky Liggero from CalvinAyre has also reported her own details being stolen and her bank details used to shop online illegally before bank fraud staff informed her and blocked the account, all while using the Wifi offered at the ExCel centre during Ice Totally Gaming. Did you had your laptop or mobile hacked at Ice Totally Gaming? If so please do contact us. Here are some tips from our Technology expert to avoid being hacked while using public WiFi: The default security settings and firewalls

on your smartphone, tablet or notebook may not be strong enough to prevent prying eyes. But there are some steps you can take for some added protection 1. T urn off sharing. You can share files, music and remote login from your own private home Wi-Fi, but you need to disable these settings before connecting to public Wi-Fi. Otherwise, anyone in your vicinity can hack into your PC. 2. A void automatically connecting to WiFi hotspots. Your smartphone or tablet may be set to connect to any available Wi-Fi hotspot, a setting that can seriously endanger your privacy. That would allow your device to connect to a public network without your express permission, or it may automatically connect you to a network set up to steal information. 3. C onfirm the network name. Sometimes hackers will set up a fake Wi-Fi network to attract unwitting users. For example, the public Wi-Fi network in your neighbourhood Starbucks may not be called “Free Starbucks Wi-Fi.” If you’re in a cafe, coffee shop or other business, check with an employee there.

Infinity Gaming • ISSUE Feb 2013

Customers at a New Jersey casino won’t even have to get out of bed in order to place a bet soon, as The Borgata Hotel Casino in Atlantic City said it will become the first casino in the US to let guests gamble in their hotel rooms via TV sets.

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GAMING NEWS

IGT bosses block opponents website that access has been blocked. We all know within corporations that disagreements between gaming executives are not uncommon. But it’s been years since the industry has seen a family feud quite like this.The attempt by Ader & former IGT CEO Charles Mathewson to gain a three-seat foothold on the board has seen a bitter & very public fight played out for all to see.

Eurovegas in Madrid suburb

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as Vegas Sands has announced that it will go ahead with the construction of their vast casino project near Madrid which could create up to 200,000 jobs, the Madrid regional government said. Six years after unveiling the contested project, the company run by US billionaire Sheldon Adelson will build the project on 750 hectares (1,850 acres) of land in Alcorcon, located about 15 kilometres (10 miles) southwest of the Spanish capital. The head of the regional government of Madrid, Ignacio Gonzalez, said. “We expect to launch the first rock at the end of the year,” he told a news confer-

ence. The “Eurovegas” project calls for the construction of four casino complexes with 12 hotels providing 36,000 rooms, nine theatres, three golf courses, and convention centres over a period of 10-15 years. The Madrid region fought hard to lure in the project at a time when Spain is grappling with a record unemployment rate of 26%. Last year Las Vegas Sands chose Madrid over Barcelona for the project after months of talks with the two competing cities but the exact location where it would be built was only just disclosed in early February.

Patti Hart CEO of IGT

Skrill complete Paysafe deal

Skrill the winner of Payment Solutions Provider at the recent 6th International Gaming Awards have announced that the acquisition of paysafecard, the Austrian prepaid payments business, has been completed. Skrill is majority owned by Investcorp Technology Partners. the acquisition of paysafecard represents a hugely significant step forward for Skrill, expanding its position as one of the world’s largest digital wallet providers.

Infinity Gaming • ISSUE Feb 2013

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t seems the fight for seats at International Game Technology board of directors is getting even worse, with the news thatIGT’s management made their latest move by imposing internal blocks preventing employees from accessing challenger Jason Ader’s websites. IGT’s CEO Patti Hart, whom Ader & his allies would like to see depart, has authorised an internal network pop-up that advises IGT employees

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GAMING NEWS

Pennsylvania online gambling bill due late Feb.

New Jersey lawmakers vote 26th Feb Ferguson settles with US DOJ ew Jersey Governor Chris Christie said on Tuesday that when the state Assembly and Senate ammend the online gambling that he conditionally vetoed earlier this month, he is ready to sign that day, so long as they make the changes to the bill he has requested. Indeed depending on the Governors day of course, if he is not too busy. However it is a clear indication that the New Jersey gambling bill should it pass both houses will not be sitting on the Governors desk for weeks until the very last moment this time. The online gambling bill goes to both houses on the 26th February for consideration and ratification, it could possibly be ready that very day for the Governor to sign. State Sen. Raymond Lesniak, who is the biggest supporter of the bill said “there is a commitment in both houses to getting a revised bill passed and on Christie’s desk for 26th Feb.”

hris Ferguson has settled his case against the US DOJ, the onetime part owner of the old Full Tilt Poker online site which was accused by US authorities of being a massive “Ponzi Scheme” and taking some $400 million plus from player deposits. The settlement with US authorities is believed to cost Ferguson some $2.3 million, which is held in his accounts. At one time the DOJ was looking to retrieve some $40 million plus from the face of the disgraced former FTP site. The money retrieved will go towards paying back US poker player’s still awaiting payment from the settlement, even thou European and rest of world players have been paid back last November. Part of the agreement settlement says that Ferguson admits no wrong doing and was unaware of any illegal activity by FTP.

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ennsylvania could be ready to get into the online state gambling business, as a bill going into the senate will be introduced there next week, says state representative Tina Davis who is sponsoring the bill. However the bill has no guarantee of passing as Ms Davis is a Democrat trying to pass the bill through a senate controlled by Republicans. “It will happen eventually,” says Davis, speaking to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review newspaper. Davis, whose district is home to the Parx casino near Philadelphia, says that Pennsylvania has surpassed New Jersey as the country’s No. 2 gambling state and says it must stay competitive. “Considering the nationwide efforts to legalize Internet gaming, it is imperative that we maintain the integrity of our gaming industry amid inevitable federal pre-emption and competing states, as well as possible expansion of Internet games through the privatization of our own state lottery,” she says.

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ARTICLES

Alan Greenspan Offers Valuable Lessons for Casino Training By Martin R. Baird

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We’ve all experienced dull training . So what can you do about it? Prevention is the best first step. The best way to keep dull training from happening is by demanding a presentation before you make hiring decisions ”

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et’s take a trip back in time, back to when Alan Greenspan was chairman of the Federal Reserve. In his typical fashion – head down and mumbling into the microphone – Greenspan regales an audience with his vision of the U.S. economy. He talks about trends. At times he’s a little hard to follow. And, of course, there’s the need to read between the lines. But people know these are very important words. When Greenspan talks, he has an impact on the U.S. and even the world. But what if he isn’t seen as a financial genius? I guarantee many people won’t make

the effort to listen. Greenspan’s old speeches have nothing to do with casino training but his presentation style was a textbook example of how some gaming industry trainers impart their words of wisdom, lulling their audience to sleep in the process. Greenspan could get away with a less-than-interesting presentation. Can your property’s training sessions be so lucky? If you’re like most properties, the answer is a resounding NO! I recently talked with a client who used a new company for training and he said the information was great, that the presenter was knowledgeable


fun. When people have a good time, they’re more open to new ideas and concepts. This means they’re open to learning. Training should be fun and educational. That’s not an oxymoron. Learning and fun actually go well together. Now let’s take a look at content. Some people think good training must be harsh to the palate. They believe that if it doesn’t taste like medicine, it can’t be doing you any good. That is simply wrong! You need to have first-rate information that’s specific to the gaming industry. The presenter should talk about real customer service challenges that hard-working, front-line people face on an hourly basis. If the quality of the content is not considered along with the effectiveness of the delivery, it’s almost assured you will end up with a less-than-great learning experience. Content also needs to be at the right level. You can talk about behavior theories to a group of 50 dedicated employees, but you will get far better results by letting them share their ideas and learn for themselves. This creates buy-in and also helps diminish the boredom. The only people who care about theories are academics. People on the front lines care about the customer. They care about their own lives. In other words, how can this training help them make more money? The information delivered during a training session needs to be very carefully presented so it’s easy to

understand and apply in the real world. You can’t force people to read between the lines or figure out complex information. You need to spoon feed the information with just enough fun to make it go down easy. It should be tasty to the palate, not harsh. Once you understand his shortcomings as a speaker, Mr. Greenspan sheds an interesting light on how to do training the right way. He offers real lessons about content and delivery. The challenge all of us in the industry face is that we can’t rely on one or the other. Great training needs to have a strong emphasis on both content and delivery or it will be a poor economic decision for the property. To make that crystal clear – it’s a waste of money! Martin R. Baird is chief executive officer of Robinson & Associates, Inc., a Boise, Idaho-based consulting firm to the global gaming industry that is dedicated to helping casinos improve their guest service so they can compete and generate future growth and profitability. Robinson & Associates is the leader in casino guest experience, management and improvement. For more information, visit the company’s Web sites at www.casinocustomerservice.com

Infinity Gaming • ISSUE Feb 2013

But the delivery was awful. The presenter talked in a monotone and had no interaction with the session’s attendees. This is a sure sign that the sandman is coming soon. If Greenspan was a customer service trainer in the gaming industry today, he would starve because people would zone out as soon as he started babbling. You know exactly what I’m talking about. We’ve all experienced dull training. So what can you do about it? Prevention is the best first step. The best way to keep dull training from happening is by demanding a presentation before you make hiring decisions. If the presenter can’t make a one- or two-hour talk fun and interactive, you really should think long and hard about your training investment. It shouldn’t cost much more for fun, interactive training than it does for a talking head. Another answer to this problem is good old-fashioned adult learning done in a different way. What most of us usually experience is a lecture followed by reading. But it’s a proven fact that this approach has the lowest retention level of all types of learning. Adult learning needs to be participant centered. It should be active so participants experience the learning process using all their senses. Studies have shown that as a person uses more and more of their senses during a learning experience, their retention level increases. Think about how we learned as children. We touched, smelled, looked at, listened to and tasted everything. All of these activities increase the amount of data that the participant’s brain stores for future use. Notice I said participant, not attendee. When people just attend, they are not involved and learning. After involvement, you need to make the experience

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NEWS

James Packer on his father & Tom Cruise

Infinity Gaming • ISSUE Feb 2013

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In a rare television interview James Packer has paid tribute to his father & Hollywood film star Tom Cruise

I always got a bit jumpy when dad called because I didn’t know if it was going to be a good call or a bad call”

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In a rare television interview recently, James Packer has paid tribute to his “terrifying” late father Kerry and Hollywood star Tom Cruise. Packer, who is developing a complex in Manila, opened up on his media tycoon father Kerry in a television interview offering unprecedented insights into their relationship.The late Packer senior, one of Australia’s richest and most influential men, who died from kidney failure in 2005, was known for his temper and his son said he was “best in class that I’ve come across” on that count. “At times, absolutely, if he wanted to he could pretty

easily terrify me,” Packer said in the Seven Network interview. “I always got a bit jumpy when dad called because I didn’t know if it was going to be a good call or a bad call,” he added. My dad was a larger-than-life character and I’m not going to say every minute or every hour we spent together was a highlight.”

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here were moments when Packer said his father was “very unhappy”, describing him as a “mercurial person” who had “big mood swings” and battled his


NEWS

James Packer paying thanks to Hollywood film star Tom Cruise

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wn demons. He said the media billionaire “gave me the belt only a couple of times”, and he had deserved it, being “caught red-handed doing something he specifically told me not to do”. “I wouldn’t want to give you the impression that dad was excessive in those things.” Packer wept as he recalled the final conversation with his father who, unknown to him, was dying. The elder Packer urged his son to follow his own path in life. Packer also opened up on his links to the Church of Scientology and high-profile acolyte Cruise, who he said “reached out to me” when he was at his lowest after his marriage failed and a major business deal went bust. “Tom Cruise reached out to me and it was a surreal thing — I had met him only once or twice and he was in Australia and we got together,” he said. “I think that he could tell that I was in pain and he invited me to his house to go skiing with him.

Packer is lobbying to build a US$1 billion casino in Sydney, the city’s second, hoping to lure Asian high-rollers, particularly the growing ranks of wealthy Chinese.

My father gave me the belt only a couple of times, but I had deserved it being caught red-handed doing something specifically told not to do”

Infinity Gaming • ISSUE Feb 2013

“He never asked me for anything in his entire life, and he believed in me when other people didn’t. I think he’s a very special person,” he added.

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TIPS THIS MONTH Adrian Reynolds

by

Twitter King

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t is all well and good having a presence on Twitter, however if you want to take things to the next level then you will need to fine tune your presence. Twitter engagement is so important and predicted to be even more-so in the future for a variety of reasons. So, here are some Twitter tips to help your Tweets go viral. We bang on about the importance of having an image, but many people still use the stock egg image. Have a good candid picture of yourself to create a personal feel. Your bio is also very important and having certain words in there can help tell people why they need to follow you. Certain words encourage more followers than others – for instance words such as ‘official’, ‘you’ and ‘please’ tend to help people achieve above average followers. Tweets that come with interesting and engaging links are far more likely to see you retweeted than mentions. People are far more inclined to click on links on Twitter and there is a definite correlation between links in Tweets and a high follower number. Reports also suggest that the link should be around 25% of the way into the tweet to maximise clicks and retweets. The more you talk about yourself in a tweet and use words such as ‘me’ and ‘I’, the less inclined people will be to retweet your tweet. Make tweets about your followers and you should see a rise in tweets. Tweets with a negative sentiment or that have a downtrodden overall tone will tend to see you with a higher unfollow rate than happy, upbeat tweets. So, be positive to ensure people follow you.

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9 Twitter tips to ensure you go viral

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one. Also adding words such as ‘please retweet’ will see a significant chance of people pinging your tweet forward. If you have a knack for adding a twist or a little humour to a situation or news story you will certainly be able to increase the number of retweets. People love a little twist or unique take – so think hard before tweeting.

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These little tips will help you hone your tweets and increase the chances of them going viral – remember that it’s the little things that make the difference.

Infinity Gaming • ISSUE Feb 2013

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Research also shows that if the tweet is longer, it will be more inclined to get more clicks than shorter tweets. Also, leave around 10 or so spaces at the end free for easier follower retweeting. Tweeting during the day is generally a better time to tweet than in the morning. People also tend to react better between Thursday and Sunday according to statistics. Friday afternoon is the most popular for retweets, though this could be down to #FF as well as the feel good factor of the weekend. If you’re retweeting a blog post or content – a great headline is far more inclined to see you retweeted than a run of the mill

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GAMING NEWS

The Responsible Gambling Trust Switzerland considers new seeks adventurers to join its gambling tax legislation Kilimanjaro 2013 fundraising expedition

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he Swiss Federal Administration has recently unveiled details of the Federal Council’s plans for a new gambling law, including plans to introduce a new concept for the taxation of betting gains.Federal Administration highlights the fact that gains from lotteries and from professional wagers are currently subject to taxation in the Confederation, while gains realized in a casino are exempt from taxation. Consequently, to end this “inequality” as regards tax treatment, the Federal Council intends to exempt from tax all gains derived from bets, the Administration explains. The arising shortfall of fiscal revenues for the Confederation and for the

Swiss cantons should be offset at least in part by additional revenues, given that the new legislation will serve to make gambling more attractive in Switzerland in the future, the Federal Administration emphasizes. Switzerland’s proposed new gambling law is designed to protect against gambling addiction, ensuring that operators put in place appropriate measures aimed at mitigating the risks of pathological gambling. The emphasis is on prevention. The Federal Council also intends

Only 27 places to end the absoluteavailable ban on online casinos, to ensure that revenues from these games are kept in Switzerland rather than flowing to foreign operators. These revenues can then be used to fund cultural, sporting and social projects, for example. The Federal Council aims to launch the consultation on its new gambling law in the second half of 2013.

London Capital Group possible acquisition

Infinity Gaming • ISSUE Feb 2013

• Trek to the roof of Africa • • Conquer the world's tallest freestanding mountain • • Hike through several climate zones • Sleep beneath star-studded skies • • No technical climbing ability required • • Help raise funds to support our front-line services •

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The Responsible Gambling Trust is an independent, national charity committed to minimising problem gambling and gambling-related harm in Britain through effective education and prevention techniques, which stop people getting into problems with their gambling, and ensuring that those that do develop problems receive fast and effective treatment and support.

For further information on our Kilimanjaro 2013 fundraising expedition please contact Karen Churches Peacock, Director of Fundraising, either by email at karen@responsiblegamblingtrust.org.uk or by phone on 020-7287-1994.

Registered charity number: 1093910 www.responsiblegamblingtrust.org.uk


IGA Highlights

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01 Ross Ferrar One of our IGA6 Judges & CEO of the Gaming Technologies Association

02 Shay Segev COO of Playtech and one of our Gold Sponsor companies

05 Las Vegas Girls One lucky attendee with our Vegas girls

03 A Kilt in February! One of our brave attendees wearing a kilt in February.

04 04 Mr Green One minute there was one and then three of them!

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GAMING NEWS

Bally Technologies do deal with Amaya Gaming Amaya Gaming have announced an agreement with Bally Technologies to integrate Amaya’s Ongame Poker Platform (“Ongame”) and casino suite into Bally’s iGaming Platform. Ongame’s will be Bally’s preferred poker provider in the emerging U.S. online gaming market. Ongame’s global online poker network includes 25 of the e-gaming industry’s strongest brands, owned by a total of 19 operators in regulated jurisdictions, and currently reaches more than 20 million customers in over 25 markets. Ongame also operates regional networks in France, Italy and Spain. Bally Technologies’ Vice President of Business Development John Connelly

Nevada casinos in 2012

Nevada casinos pulled in revenues of $10.8 billion in 2012, that’s up 1.5% from the previous year, the state Gaming Control Board reported. Casinos on the Las Vegas Strip saw revenues for 2012 at $6.2 billion, that’s up 2.3% from 2011.For the month of December, Nevada casinos reported revenue of $943.3 million, an increase of 10.2% from the same month in 2011. On the Las Vegas Strip, casino revenue was up by 13.4% in December.

Wynn announce lower results

Fourth-quarter profit totaled $118.2 million, down from $194.4 million a year earlier. They continued a significant decline in Macau due to market share loss to the Cotai strip, where Wynn’s competitors own properties. Surprisingly, the company’s Las Vegas operations were the stronger asset in the last quarter, With the rise of Macau as a gambling center and the slow U.S. economy, the fortunes of Las Vegas casinos have lagged.

Ladbrokes promising start to 2013 Ladbrokes have come out and announced that they believe their new initiatives and investments will start to show signs of success and return in the second half of 2013. The gambling giant has just reported an 8% climb in operating profit to £206 million for the year ending 2012.

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Nearly $11 billion in revenues for

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Expert Opinion

Social Gaming to Gambling

The reality of converting social gamers into paying customers By Rohin Malhotra

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ccording to a recent Morgan Stanley report, 20% - or 170m - of the 800m social gamers worldwide play some form of social gambling game, with 2% of them generating $1.7bn in any given month. This compares with 50m real-money online gamblers who by comparison generate in the region of $35bn.

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$1.7bn represents a lot of incremental revenue for companies seeking to enter this market but this in itself does not appear to be the main driver of the gambling companies’ interest. Although revenuegeneration is the ultimate goal, it is the perceived strategic benefits of that growing 170m players that has many so excited. Indeed, the growth of social gambling sector is attracting attention from all directions.

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Social gaming companies like Zynga have very successful social gambling games. Online gambling companies like 888, Playtech, Gamesys and bwin.party have expanded into social gambling. Some gaming and consumer bodies call for its monitoring, or even regulation, in light of its proximity to, and perceived propensity to promote, real-money gambling. And there has been an flurry of newbies and their social gambling games, some designed to generate considerable

revenue and some focused upon creating large databases as a lossleader so they can convert them into real-money gamblers. The last of these points is arguably the most important one from a strategic perspective. Is it easy to convert social gamblers into real-money gamblers? The simple answer is that it is not easy at all. It is not impossible but it is much tougher than some social gambling companies - especially those seeking investment or an exit courtesy of gambling companies - will lead you to believe. Social gambling is unregulated so it is able to thrive almost everywhere whilst online gambling is restricted. Where marketing of online gambling is restricted social gaming can be

viewed as a legitimate and potentially efficient funnel to real-money gambling for large numbers of social gamblers and regulated markets like the UK can offer visible convergence between real-money gambling and social gambling. Although it is an enviable position to have profitable operations in both social and gambling sectors, with integration and cross-promotion offering incremental revenue and optimisation, there are a number of social gambling companies whose business models involve the growth of social gamblers as a lossleader - or marketing cost - with the prospect of conversion into realmoney gambling being the trigger for profitability. To date, such strategies have generally failed.


Some social gambling businesses that look well positioned for realmoney gambling due to strong brands and large databases can also miss the mark. Just having a database of social gamblers is not enough. Players can become inactive quickly, with some games retaining just a quarter of players after a month and less than 10% after three months. If companies poker, this looks like a small issue risk does not fundamentally change are to effectively convert, it is likely but it is not. Educational tools are the gameplay experience and so to require ongoing processes for required in order to prevent that conversion can be regarded to be cross-promotion and education at social player from playing too more achievable. For many Slots all stages of their gameplay with loosely and losing too much too and Bingo games, gameplay is a genuinely integrated approach quickly - a challenge that is not a primarily geared towards entertainwithout over-promoting products new one. The .net websites, which ment and so real money wagering and frustrating players. Simply wholly comprise freeplayers, and can be more seamlessly introduced emailing large databases of inac.com websites, which at any time whereas its introduction has a more tive users does not reprefundamental impact upon a sent, in any realm, a proven Typically, freeplay poker players, poker game. Upselling social foundation for building a gamblers into real money play loosely & tend to go all in more business. gambling is a realistic and often than real cash players who For fuller understanding sound goal but being estabof conversion, we need to play a tighter game. Education tools lished in these disciplines look at every level starting are required in order to prevent will not alone enable any with the product itself. Slots company or partnership to social players losing too much too and Bingo players may be be successful in doing this. quickly - A challenge that is not new If a gambling company is easier to convert to a gambling version of their game seeking to buy its way into because of the proximity social gaming with a view to between the gaming experiences can comprise 80% of freeplayers, converting social gamblers to real whereas conversion of social Poker are evidence of this. money gamblers, it would be wise players will be more challenging Comparatively, the gameplay to ensure that the business is profitbecause of the different gaming experience of Slots and Bingo can able today and projected to be for experience. be similar in social gambling and the foreseeable future. Because if Typically, freeplay poker players real-money gambling arenas. It is profitability of that strategy is de- whether they be from Facebook true that playing for money may pendent upon large-scale convergames, .net websites or subscriplimit the credits spent and numbers sion of a social gambling operation tion games - play loosely and tend of lines used by players for each that would otherwise be a lossto go all-in more frequently than spin of the Slots but an introducleading marketing cost, it could be a gambler, who plays poker more tion of a money prize instead of free a long and expensive journey for tightly. To those who do not play virtual credit for some increased them.

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Conversion can be marginal and expensive and insufficient to offset a loss-making social gambling operation. And so companies seeking to acquire these lossleaders should beware.

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Caesars Spotlight

“Functionally insolvent”

Cincinnati casino puts Caesars’ finances in spotlight

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Caesars Entertainment, the manager of Cleveland’s Horseshoe Casino, continues to face financial pressures that the company says could leave it unable to repay debt. The struggles were shown as state regulators consider approving licenses for a Horseshoe that opens in just over a weeks time in Cincinnati. Experts say Caesars’ finances won’t affect either of the Ohio Horseshoes -- the Las Vegas company is a onefifth partner with Dan Gilbert’s Rock Gaming in both ventures and is called on more for industry expertise than investment capital. Nonetheless, the Ohio Casino Control Commission asks consultants from the New Jersey-based Spectrum Gaming Group to provide regular reviews. Spectrum’s report won’t be made public until the commission meets, but a document that Caesars submitted to the federal Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 4 offers a preview. iAccording to the filing, Caesars’ fourth-quarter losses are expected to land between $452 million and $556 million, compared with $246.9 million in the same period the previous year. Debt totals more than $20.9 billion, and the company says it does not generate enough income to make nearly $2 billion a year in payments, most of it interest. Caesars plans to

seek refinancing, but the filing cautions that the company could have to file for reorganization. The filing notified shareholders that Caesars plans to create a subsidiary that would take in a Baltimore casino being developed with Rock Gaming and other partners, the Planet Hollywood casino resort in Las Vegas and an online-gaming affiliate that includes the World Series of Poker. The subsidiary would assume a small portion of Caesars’ debt and could raise money through the sale of stock. The online unit could be particularly attractive to investors, given a move by states to legalize interactive gaming within their borders and the possibility of federal regulation that will expand the gaming nationwide. Caesars is a vic-

tim of a 1-2 punch: a highly leveraged buyout of its stock in 2008 and an economic downturn from which the gaming industry is still recovering. itch Ratings gave Caesars’ notes a “negative outlook” this month and expressed concern about the rate the company is burning through cash. Alex Bumazhny, director of the gaming, lodging and leisure unit at Fitch, said the investment analysis and research company views default as a “real possibility” for Caesars and could revise that status to “probable.” Former Caesars executive Randall Fine said the company is “functionally insolvent.”

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Caesars Spotlight

Caesars’ finances in the spotlight

selling Harrah’s St. Louis to Penn National Gaming for $610 million last year. Thompson said Caesars continues to aggressively pursue new development, with announced targets in Boston, Toronto and South Korea.

Caesars has scaled back to manager and minority partner in the Cleveland and Cincinnati casinos, but Thompson said the company will determine its role in other projects on a case-by-case basis. I’m personally very confident we are following the right path to make sure this company is going to gain value, a lot of growth value, in the next couple of years,” he said in an interview. Shawn Kravetz is president of Esplanade Capital Partners, a Boston hedge fund that includes gaming as

a focus. Esplanade holds an interest in Lakes Entertainment, which owns 8 percent interest in Ohio’s Horseshoe casinos and a third Rock Ohio Caesars property, Thistledown Racino.

Kravetz acknowledged that Caesars has “had to maneuver,” but he thinks the worst is over. “There’s no question they are in a challenging situation,” Kravetz said. “That said,

Former Caesars Executive Randall Fine said the company is functionally insolvent”

they are survivors.” Rock Gaming spokeswoman Jennifer Kulczycki said the company would not comment before the release of the Spectrum report. But Rock rushed to its partner’s defense in April, when the Cleveland Horseshoe was preparing to open and Spectrum was questioning Caesars’ stability. Matt Cullen, Rock Gaming’s president and chief operating officer, said at the time that Rock could replace Caesars as manager, if necessary, but he was confident that would not happen. “We’re very proud of our partnership with Caesars,” Cullen said. “We feel very good about them as a company and individuals.”

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Caesars has way too much debt,” said Fine, managing director of the Fine Point Group, a gaming management and consulting firm. “They’ve spent the last four or five years fighting a rear-guard action to keep their head above water.” Caesars spokesman Gary Thompson dismissed the possibility of filing for protection from creditors. He said the company has reduced operating expenses and debt and pushed back the due dates on obligations beyond 2015. Steps taken by the company include

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GAMING NEWS

Stratosphere in Las Vegas launch online poker site

Rank given green light to buy Gala Casinos

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merican Casino & Entertainment Properties launched 12th February the acePLAYpoker.com, Owned by the Stratosphere casino in Las Vegas have now become the latest Nevada gaming company to offer free-toplay online poker. The acePLAY poker site has their very own face of poker hostess in the shape of Claire Sinclair, who was Playmate of the Year 2011. Many gaming companies have launched poker sites over the last year in anticipation of laws that would allow limited online gaming, either by federal legislation or state-by-state. Players can win prizes including show tickets and thrill rides at the Stratosphere and free hotel stays at American Casino & Entertainment casinos. Besides its Las Vegas properties, the company operates the Aquarius casino in Laughlin. The Nevada Gaming Commission approved American Casino & Entertainment Properties as an interactive gaming operator last September. “With the launch of this free to play website, we can now bring the excitement of play found at our properties to anyone with Internet access, no matter their location,” said Alec Driscoll, the company’s director of gaming development. “We are also positioning ACEP and acePLAYpoker.com for the potential approval of legalized online gaming.”

fter months of waiting for the decision by the Competitions Commission (CC) on the Rank Group proposal to purchase Gala Casinos, the decision is finally through. Although the provisional ruling in December from the CC saying that Rank would need to sell some 6 of the Gala casinos to approve the deal, that has changed and Rank will be allowed to buy 19 of the 23 casinos Gala has in its portfolio. Rank said it was “pleased that it will be able to proceed with the purchase of 19 of the 23 casinos originally comprised within the proposed acquisition” and it was in talks with Gala in relation to the revised deal. CC deputy chairman Martin Cave said: “We think that removing the casinos in problem areas from the deal and requiring Rank to sell the Edinburgh cold licence to an upfront buyer will protect the interests of customers. “The excluded casinos are all profitable and so we believe that they will continue to act as viable competitors to Rank in these areas.”

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NEWS

Full Tilt Poker to go .eu Full Tilt Poker is following Pokerstars, its sister site in opening a .eu website licensed in Malta. The move could have positive tax implications for Swedish, Finnish, Polish, Slovenian, Romanian, Dutch & German players who migrate to the new venue.

Amaya extends deal with Warner Amaya Gaming reported it has extended their agreement with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, on behalf of DC entertainment, to be the exclusive provider of DC Comics comic book-inspired pay-to-play online casino games.

Cashless casino closed after just two days

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he newly opened Jester Bar in China’s southern Hainan island, part of the Mangrove Tree Resort World in Sanya Bay, has been closed by local authorities after only two days in operation. According to reports from the the deputy director of the Sanya Culture and Sports Bureau on the island, they have closed the bar/casino that offered customers casino style gambling BUT for

prizes not cash. In fact there was no cash involved by customers or the operators. However Chen Guangfa from the Bureau said ”We have shut the entertainment bar,” and continued “We are investigating it and so far, it looks like they have violated their operating regulations.” “When we approved it, the regulations and the certificate said its operations would be entertainment in nature, but inside the bar there are some games and they’ve gone beyond the scope of the regulations, so we closed it down.” it is still unclear if and how the owners of Jesters Bar have violated their certificate to operate.

Aussie authorities green light deal

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William Hill & GVC Holdings have been given the go ahead from the Northern Territories Commission & the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board regarding ownership of the Sportingbet Australian business saying conditions of the offer have been satisfied.

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Locus Gaming Announces ATR Partnership Locus Gaming has signed an exclusive deal to roll out their new Jack Gold Casino on the mobile and tablet sites of At The Races.

Anonymous Poker Series The first live qualifiers for the Bodog Poker Network’s Anonymous Poker Series will take place simultaneously in both London and Macau on March 12th. The B2B live event will be held during the iGaming Asia Conference, Macau, and is open to online gaming operators at the conference. The B2C event in London will be free to enter, on a first come first served basis with full details of how to play released on Monday, March 4th, held at a central London location. The winners of each event will automatically earn their place in the $100,000 Grand Final in Manila, January 2014, with flights and accommodation for the winner and a friend provided. All players at the London tournament will also receive a Bodog goodie bag, dinner and, of course, lots of drinks. The venue will be emailed directly to participating players the day before the tournament.


Conference Tips

Top tips to successful networking at Conferences We have just survived the first week of conferences, shows

and networking events for 2013. How did they go? One of the main reasons that people site for attending a conference is the networking opportunities. Yet they often leave the event feeling they made few or no connections. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of connecting with others at a conference:

Set appointments in advance. If you know that there will be people in attendance whom you know that you would like to see, call or email a few weeks in advance to schedule a time to meet for coffee, a meal, or a drink. Do not hope to “run into them”, as your paths might not cross at a time when you can spend quality time together. Do not focus on meeting the celebrity speakers. While meeting famous authors, speakers, and other gurus is fun, you are one of hundreds who will come up to them and shove a card in their hands. Instead, place you focus on meeting other people in attendance at the event. It is the other attendees who you are most likely to bond with and create real long lasting mutually beneficial friendships. Talk to the people sitting next to you. When you walk into a seminar, take the time before the presentation begins to say hello to the people seated around you. We call this the “power of hello”. Once you have said

something as simple as “hello”, it will be easier to talk with them later in the week if you see them again. Ask questions of people you meet. Never lead with your “elevator pitch”. People are more interested in themselves than they are in you, so ask them questions to help them get to talking. Put your technology away. Do not run to your phone, BlackBerry, or laptop at every break. When you are working on electronics you send the message that you are unapproachable because you are busy. Utilize the time on breaks to converse with others. Do not automatically send a LinkedIn or Facebook request. So often people immediately send social networking link requests to people they just met. However, different people have different policies about whom they link with. If they believe in only connecting with those whom they have established relationships, you make it awkward if you send them a link too early (which they then ignore). Best is to ask people if they would welcome such a link at this time. Be respectful of the fact that they might use social networking differently than you do.

Read their stuff. Many people are active bloggers, twitterers, authors, etc... If people create the written word, seek out their work and read it. It is a great way to get to know people by reading their stuff, but they will also be honored when you tell them that you read their blog or follow them on Twitter. Introduce others. When you meet cool people, be the conduit who connects them with others who might be beneficial to them. This includes others at the conference, as well as other people you might know back home. If you ask the right types of questions, you will easily spot connections that can help others. Don’t ever worry about “what’s in it for me”, but instead just be the person who helps others. You will over time that others will help you too. Follow up. If you meet interesting people and you never follow up, it makes no difference. Own the follow up after you meet people and send them an email telling them how much you enjoyed talking with them, and plan for future discussions. Happy Networking

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ave a plan. Know in advance whom you want to meet (directly or the type of people), which speakers you want to hear, and what tradeshow booths you want to visit.

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Infinity Magazine Feb  

The Infinity Gaming Magazine February Edition